Comparison is the Death of You.
Blog by Coach Morgan
When I was in high school, I would go to the gym with my best friend after school. We would always warm up on the treadmill, listen to music,
and occasionally talk about our day. Let me say that my best friend and I were not cut from the same cloth. She is long and lean, blonde hair, blue eyed, and super fit. I on the other hand was (still am) short and squatty and a major tom boy. One day I was feeling super envious of her. We got to the gym and hopped on the treadmills like normal and went for a run. I found myself peaking over at hers every couple of seconds. I was watching her distance and her speed and wanting so badly to beat her. I started to turn up my speed little by little until I was in almost a full sprint. She noticed and was like what in the world is happening? I have no idea what came over me. I wanted to be faster. I wanted to run further. I wanted to BE BETTER than her. WHY?? She was my best friend. What was the point? But I couldn’t stop comparing myself to her in the moment and it ruined my attitude and outlook.
Fast forward to now. I am obviously an adult and shouldn’t compete over petty things like warming up on the treadmill, but I still find myself
comparing myself to others in the gym. It might not look the same but the comparison and urge to be better is still there. Here are just a few
scenarios that happen in my head. Part of working out requires the need to wear workout clothes. Workout clothes for females are usually pretty fitted. Pretty fitted means that you need to look good wearing them. Looking good wearing them gives you more confidence. More confidence means you perform better in the gym. (seriously guys, this is my logic). So here I am, in the gym, comparing myself to other women by how we look in our work out clothes. It’s just plain ridiculous.
I am no runner. I have never trained to be a runner. I played soccer in college and was more of a quick burst sprinter than a long distance person. But here comes the miles and I get smoked by someone who is in fact, a runner. I beat myself up over and compare my time to theirs. Stupid, I know. Wall balls are in the workout. Dang it. And I am standing next to our 8ft. member who could touch the line just by raising his hands (exaggeration). But I am so frustrated that he finished his wall balls before me and didn’t have to break. I had to do sets of 5 and was
jumping completely off the ground by the end just to get my ball to the line.
It just isn’t fair.
So as silly as those may seem and as completely ridiculous as they sound, they still happen. I still find myself comparing my performance to
people who are nothing like me. Who have been blessed with height, who put in the time and the effort to train a specific skill, or work really hard on their diet to make sure they stay in the best shape possible. None of those things are me, so why do I put myself in their shoes?
To be honest, this is one of the reasons I don’t look at the whiteboard before I come to the gym. I want to show up and do the workout completely blind. Most days, I don’t even know what the workout is until it’s time to set up. I look at my stats and only my stats because the only person I should be comparing myself to is my previous self. I should want to beat the old me. Be better than the me from last week, last month, or last year. Comparison will rob me of my joy in the gym. It will take away the excitement of performing well on a work out. Because if I continuously compare, I finish the workout and say, “damn it, I got whooped.” But if I performed my best, did better than before, than there is nothing to complain about.
We all have different goals. We all have different backgrounds. We all have different bodies. We all have different strengths and weaknesses. If
we continue to compare ourselves to others, we are never going to excel on our own. There is always going to be someone who is stronger or faster. But look at who you were 1,5,10 years ago. Compare yourself to him/her. Have you improved your life? Your fitness? Your health? If the answer is yes, than you have succeeded. Keep it up! Stop comparing yourself to others, because not one of us is the same, not even close. All you should care about is being #everydaybetter.